With three weeks left, it's impossible to *not* think about "the day". It's time to taper, which means it's time to make sure everything else is working. I have a 16 miler this Saturday and a 12 miler the following Saturday - the last two runs long enough to check out race day systems.
A few weeks back, I revisited my race report from my last (and first) marathon - San Diego Rock n' Roll 2008. There I had three problems: (1) chafing in areas that I wasn't thinking about (see the picture below), (2) blisters the size of Texas on the soles of my feet, and (3) running out of gas around mile 17 with calves cramping by mile 19. All those left me where I am today - with a big chip on my shoulders and a monkey on my back. Thanks San Diego! If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be going through this madness again! (Here's me after 5 hours and 44 minutes on the streets of San Diego - not a pretty sight!):
One thing I've learned over the past couple of years is running while being miserable sucks. So, I've been using my long runs to check out a lot of marathon day systems. My clothes are chosen. I have my grey Adidas running shorts with built compression pants and my blue Road Runner tech tee. Yeah - not color coordinated, but also no chafing. And no bloody nipples.
Footwear also went through a major change a while back. Turns out the problem with the blisters weren't so much the shoes as the socks. Everything now are Road Runner Dryroad elite socks. They are "wicked" (pun intended).
Both of these systems have now been through two twenty milers and four runs 16 miles or longer. That's right. Each time I headed out for a long run, I made sure to be wearing the clothes and footwear that I planned on wearing on marathon day. If you saw me on the 4th or July - you saw me as I will appear on October 11th. And all clothing and shoe systems are ready. Now I can concentrate on fuel. I'll leave that for tomorrow's blog.....
On the running front, I got an email from Cal Coast yesterday that we are back at the Corona del Mar High School track beginning today. Yea! I think I'll join the group tonight for some Tempo Tuesdaily madness. Yeah - I don't really need a lot of speed work at this point, but I'll put in some warm up miles and run around in circles with a few of my buddies tonight. I can't believe there are only 20 days left (fingernails are getting short....)